There are numerous causes of muscle pain, including sports injury, accidents, exercise, and general wear and tear. Sometimes fatigue and over work or certain types of jobs cause muscle pain, and for some it can be quite severe.
Irrelevant of the cause, muscle pain can be hard to manage, inconvenient and annoying.
While it is tempting to go to the pharmacy or doctor and take painkillers, they just treat the pain. Instead, there are a number of natural ways to heal sore muscles and reduce the pain they can cause.
1. Epsom Salt
A few teaspoons of Epsom salt in a warm bath can do wonders for any aching or sore muscles. Epsom salts contain high levels of magnesium sulphate, which is a natural muscle relaxant. Epsom salt works by removing fluid from muscles, and therefore reducing any inflammation and swelling of the muscle.
2. Essential oils
Certain oils have been recommended for many years as a remedy for all sorts of health issues. For muscle soreness and cramps, lemongrass and peppermint are amongst the favourite. Camomile has many beneficial properties and can help induce rest as well as reduce soreness in muscles.
3. Omega 3
Omega 3 is regularly proven to be highly beneficial in many ways, and treating sore muscles is just one. Increased levels of omega 3 can reduce inflammation in muscles, and reduce any associated soreness. It also improves circulation in the body, which will help prevent sore muscles in the first place. Either way, omega 3 is essential for a healthy body in many ways.
Whether it’s a warm shower or bath, a heat pack or hot water bottle, applying heat to sore muscles can help them relax naturally. The heat causes muscles to relax by themselves, therefore reducing the pain associated with tense muscles.
5. Ice packs
If your muscles are sore from bruising or inflammation, an ice pack or cold bath will be much more effective than heat. Ice packs reduce any swelling or bruising when applied directly to the sore area, and therefore can reduce the associated pain.
Research has shown that drinking coffee before a workout can help to prevent sore muscles and the associated pain. The caffeine will also help increase endurance levels and the productivity of your workout.
Magnesium is critical for proper functioning of the body, and muscles are no exception. Low levels of magnesium in the body can cause general aches and pains in the muscles anyway. Add to this general wear and tear, exercise or injury and your muscles are going to hurt. Magnesium levels can be increased either by eating more food that has high levels naturally, such as spinach and seeds, or you can take a supplement.
8. Foam rollers
While more exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing when your muscles are sore, gently using a foam roller can ease the muscle soreness. These rollers work by increasing blood flow to the muscles through pressure applied directly to the problem area. They are a significantly cheaper option than a physiotherapist or medication, and you can control which areas you focus on.
9. Cherry juice
Cherry juice has recently been shown to contain high levels of antioxidants, which contributes to reduced muscle soreness. Research has shown that drinking cherry juice before and during any exercise can reduce post-workout pain and soreness both immediately afterwards, and for a longer duration.
Swimming is a gentle, low impact exercise that has many benefits. Not only is it a good exercise, swimming is an effective form of physiotherapy that can treat sore muscles. If possible, stick to an indoor pool and one with relatively warm water – this will prevent any further strain on your muscles.